Belfast - Thorndale Lifehouse (Family Centre)

A warm welcome awaits you at The Salvation Army Belfast Thorndale Lifehouse and Family Centre

The Salvation Army
Thorndale Lifehouse and Family Centre
8 Duncairn Avenue
Antrim Road
BT14 6BP
For further information, please contact us:
Centre Manager: Mr Gerald Rankin
(Contact either Dawn Richardson - Social Work Manager or Lana Donaldson - Facilities and Admin Coordinator)


The Salvation Army's Thorndale Lifehouse and Family Centre is more than a hostel or shelter for the night. At a Lifehouse we get people their life back.

Our Lifehouse offers short-term accommodation for people in need of housing. More than this, we offer activities and training to help improve the self-esteem, mental health and employment prospects of our service users.

Thorndale Lifehouse and Family Centre can cater for a maximum of 125 residents in 38 independent units, providing emergency accommodation for homeless families, one-parent families and single women.

Referrals to the centre are made through the Housing Executive and Social Service Trusts. The centre also works in partnership with Flax Housing Association in the Rowan Complex that has 11 units of accommodation.

Occasionally the family unit experiences difficulties that result in parents and their children being separated. Part of the Thorndale programme is to offer the facility of contact on site when parents and their children may enjoy quality time together in a safe environment.

Thorndale Playgroup

The playgroup is situated in 'The Orchard' building, facing the entrance to the reception of the main building. It is open, Monday to Friday and can accommodate twenty-four children, from the age of three years and over.

The playgroup provides places for children from both families within the centre and those from the local community.

The children have access to a large playroom, a quiet room and a large enclosed outdoor play area, where they are supervised, at all times, by qualified staff.

The Salvation Army also runs a Parenting & Childcare Assessment Programme

Families referred to this 12 week programme work closely with Thorndale Social Workers and Project staff addressing areas such as parenting skills, household budgeting, alcohol and drug abuse and domestic violence. The aim of the programme is to empower and equip families with the necessary skills and insight to be competent parents who are able to appropriately care for and cope with their children.

Staff work in partnership with Social Services and other health and social care professionals across a range of disciplines to ensure children in need or at risk of harm are protected, and families are provided with the opportunity to remain together when possible and where appropriate.

Areas of Work Undertaken

- Practical Childcare Skills

- Child Protection Work

- Behaviour Management

- Exploration of Life Events

- Impact of Domestic Violence

- Self Awareness / Self Esteem

- Stress Management

- Risk Assessments

- Housing Advice

- Child Development

- Play & Stimulation

- Bonding & Attachment

- Impact of Alcohol

- Independent Living Skills

- Life Story Work

- Relationship Work

- Benefit Advice

- Household Management